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SpiceJet to take five more Q400s

Indian budget carrier SpiceJet will add five more Bombardier Q400s to its fleet by June to back-fill some of the capacity lost in the market due to Jet Airways’ financial difficulties.

Three of the turboprops are expected to be delivered within the next 10 days, with the final two to arrive by June.

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the carrier has 27 Q400s in its fleet already, with 22 more on order.

SpiceJet announced the additional Q400s less than a week after it said it would lease 16 additional Boeing 737NGs that will help to cover capacity lost from the grounding of its 13 737 Max 8s.

While not naming Jet Airways directly, SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh indicated that the additional capacity will help to fill capacity on regional routes lost by the downsizing of the full-service carrier.

“The sudden reduction of aviation capacity should in no way hamper air connectivity to the smaller towns and cities of India and as the country’s largest regional operator, SpiceJet will make all possible efforts in this direction,” he says.

As of 16 April, Jet’s fleet had dwindled to only seven aircraft being operated on domestic routes, from a peak of 120 just over a year ago, and it is making an eleventh-hour bid for emergency funding from its banks to maintain its operations.

SpiceJet has moved quickly to capitalise on the loss of Jet’s capacity from Mumbai, with plans to launch a slew of new international and domestic routes from the city in coming weeks.

Those include services to Riyadh, Dammam Colombo, Hong Kong and Kathmandu which will commence in late May.

Market leader IndiGo has also signalled plans to ramp up frequencies on domestic routes from Mumbai.

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